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Updated: April 4, 2013 12:07 IST

New concepts and products

M. Soundariya Preetha
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Mitticool, a terracotta refrigerator. Photo: S. Siva Saravanan
The Hindu Mitticool, a terracotta refrigerator. Photo: S. Siva Saravanan

With more than 12 hours of power cut a day, consumers, including students, are looking at ways that will improve power availability.

Be it industries, students or the common man, many are coming up with new concepts and products that will reduce the dependence on conventional electricity, improve energy conservation and generation.

The State-level science expo organised in Coimbatore a couple of months ago by the Department of School Education saw a significant number of entries related to energy conservation and generation of power from alternative sources. This included off-shore wind mills and an improvised pedal-operated generator to power home appliances.

On the industrial front, two companies went in for bio-diesel production using non-edible vegetable seeds. Though awareness is high, production of bio-diesel is not viable in this region at present because of non-availability of seeds. If there is an assured supply of the seeds and support from the Government, production and use of bio-diesel can increase, says an industry source. The plants require nearly three kg of seeds to produce one litre of diesel and the total cost works out to Rs. 40 a litre. The cost varies according to the availability and price of the seeds. The diesel can be used to run generators and in industries.

Similarly, a product that has found a market here is terracotta refrigerator manufactured buy a Gujarat-based entrepreneur.

The 50 litre refrigerator does not require electricity to keep vegetables, fruits, milk and water cool. According to Mansukhbhai Prajapati, who makes “Mitticool” from 2004, he entered the Tamil Nadu market recently by appointing dealers. In Coimbatore and Erode Districts, over 50 have been sold in the last two months. Mr. Prajapati is now working on “Mitticool house”, which is an environment-friendly air-conditioner.

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